Happy New Year!
It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. A lot of things happened in the past year; my granddaughter Isis was born in September, my grandson Ryan turned 2, and my youngest son Kyle started college (let’s just hope he finishes). It was so nice to have all of my kids and my grandkids here last Friday to celebrate Christmas together; that was the first time in a long time that we were all together for Christmas. We even had my older kids’ three sisters join us, it was a great night!
My ex-father-in-law passed away in November. He was a wonderful man, and even though I have been divorced for 11 years, one month, and 28 days, I always stayed pretty close with Ron. He was a good grandfather to Kyle, he always came to his lacrosse games, he taught him things, and he was always very supportive of Kyle. The world lost a great man when he passed away.
My sister Kolleen underwent a couple of serious surgeries, and she fought through the recoveries and the chemo therapy, and is doing the best that I have seen her doing in a long time. I am so thankful for my brother-in-law Mace to take such good care of her and help her through all of the challenges she has faced.
I got to see almost all of my family when I went back to Kansas for Thanksgiving, and I spent a lot of time with my Dad, which was very nice. He is battling all kinds of health problems, but doing so with all of the determination and dignity that are the hallmarks of his life.
In May my Uncle Gary and Cousins Greg and Grant came out to fish on the South Platte River with Kyle and me, which was a fun day. The fishing wasn’t so good, but we had a great time, and it was nice to spend that time with family members that I rarely see. Kyle did a good job of guiding that day, and it was good for him to get to know my Uncle.
Also in May I took a short trip to Seattle to visit with my long-time best friend Rich, who I don’t see that often. We took a float trip down the Sauk River fishing for bull trout. It was a great trip, and it’s always good to spend time with Rich, we have had so many good times together. While I don’t get to see him much, every time I see him it’s like we haven’t been apart at all.
I continue to be surrounded by good friends in my life, and this past year Jane, Erin, Nyles, and others were so supportive of me, and were just good friends in the true sense of the word. I rekindled some old friendships, like with John, and made some new friends like Sophia, Kristy, and Alex.
My brother Mike got married this year, and they are expecting a baby this summer. It has been nice to get to know Mike a little better, and I look forward to building that relationship. Mike is a half-brother, and we really didn’t get know each other until recently.
I experienced a lot of great hunting and fishing during the year, and I have thoroughly enjoyed writing about as much of all of it as I could. I had several great fishing trips (several in my new kayak), a couple of turkey hunting trips, a great fall elk hunt during the archery season with my new bow, a plains deer hunt, and a couple of pheasant hunts this past fall. I will be starting it all over again on January 3rd with a pheasant hunt, and I’ll start planning out my other activities for the year, including some waterfowl hunts in the coming months, as well as some ice fishing.
All of the work I have done with my website has been fun, yet challenging. While I have written a ton, I have not done so well with the products, and I have tried a couple of different things with that. While I will continue my writing in the New Year, I need to re-think my strategy on the products and do something positive with that.
While I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, this year I will resolve to do a few things differently and focus my efforts on certain things. I prefer to use the term “setting goals,” and in the coming year one of my main goals will be to publish a book, probably an e-book is more realistic, but a book none-the-less. Another goal is to either find a way to be more satisfied with my real job, or find a new one. And my last goal is simply to do what I can everyday to either spend time outdoors or increase my knowledge about all outdoor related subjects. Those are some lofty goals for the year, but certainly attainable.
Of course I have my own personal expectations; like getting a turkey in the spring, an elk in the fall, maybe another turkey in the fall, a deer in early winter, and lots of fish and birds to go along with everything else. I also expect to continue to try to get young people interested in outdoor activities, to get new people interested in the same, and make people aware of conservation issues that impact our outdoor heritage. It’s going to be a busy year!
I want to thank all of my readers for supporting me and sharing an interest in what I have to say. The amount of readers I have had this past year has been incredible; some days as much as 40,000 people a day reading my articles. Thank you for that. I wish you all the best in the coming year! Happy New Year!